Castles and Legends
Discover a wealth of culture and legends; be a knight for day exploring the many amazing castles in the local area or imagine living like the Welsh Robin Hood, Twm Sion Cati, taking refuge in the cliffs above Dinas Bird Reserve. He robbed from the rich and gave his spoils to those less fortunate and apparently he was a bit of a joker as well. You can find his cave perched high above the spectacular gorge and waterfall walk at Dinas just 2 miles up the valley from Penrhyn.
Local castles include, Carreg Cennen, Dinefwr, Dryslwyn, Kidwelly, Llaugharne, Llansteffan and the remains of Llandovery castle with a striking statue of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Fychan who was butchered by Henry IV.
The Black Mountains at Myddfai encircle the atmospheric Llyn-y-Fan Fach linked with the romantic Lady of the lake and the Physicians of Mydffai.
Walk across the Cambrians following the ancient 12th century Monks Trod track towards the ruinous abbey of Strata Florida or pan for gold at the Dolaucothi Roman Gold Mines. Rhandirmwyn is steeped in history and in the 1800 and early 1900’s once supported a thriving lead and zinc mining industry. Penrhyn Barn looks out onto Crystal Mountain, in the sunlight it glitters with quartz and minerals waiting to be discovered.
Let your imagination run wild, explore and step in the footprints of a lost bygone age.
Gardens, Parks and Museums
Carmarthenshire is aptly named the Garden of Wales, the stunning gardens and parks in the county are a source of inspiration for all visitors.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales is an iconic destination of international importance with its largest single-span glasshouse in the world. It is the home to some of the most endangered plants on the planet from six Mediterranean climate regions. The Garden was once a magnificent Regency water park and many of the original features have been restored. The Botanic Garden of Wales is a stimulating day out for all the family with pond dipping fun, wonderful scenic walks and a host of beautiful and rare plants for the gardening enthusiasts.
Just down the road from the Botanic Garden is Aberglasney. Nestled on the hillside in the spectacular Tywi Valley countryside the house and gardens have been magnificently restored after years of neglect. Aberglasney is a magical garden of history, legends and rare plants. A visit to Aberglasney will inspire and relax you with it’s extraordinary beauty.
While you are in the area Newton House and Dinefwr Park are not to be missed. A magical land of power and influence for more than 2,000 years, Dinefwr Park and Castle is an iconic place in the history of Wales. Two forts are evidence of a dominant Roman presence. The powerful Lord Rhys held court at Dinefwr and influenced decisions in Wales.
The visionaries, George and Cecil Rice designed the superb 18th-century landscape that you see today.
The ‘hands-on’ Newton House gives visitors an atmospheric circa 1912 experience. Exhibitions on the first floor tell Dinefwr’s story and inspire visitors to explore the castle and park.
– Be amazed at the National Nature Reserve at Dinefwr
– Be thrilled by views from the top of the castle
– Let off steam in the children’s play area and boardwalk
– Get close to the rare and historic White Park cattle
– Help with servants’ tasks and hear them chatting about life
– Learn about and see the herd of fallow deer
The Dolaucothi Gold Mines are just up the road from us on the opposite side of the Mynydd Mallaen. Here you can pan for gold, don a minors lamp for several unique guided tours into the ancient underground shafts , explore the Dolaucothi estate following walks and trails up to the highest trig point and after all your excitement enjoy a home cooked treats in the cosy tea rooms. Welsh gold jewellery can be purchased from the shop on site.
Carmarthenshire is also the home to;
Hywel Dda Gardens – Whitland – the only garden is Europe dedicated to the Law, recalls and celebrates the achieviements of Hywel Dda who was King of all Wales during the first half of the tenth century.
Parc Howard Mansion and Gardens – Felinfoel Road, Llanelli – an ornamental park featuring elegant gardens and trees unusual to Britain. The mansion house is now a Museum and Art Gallery. Visitors can stroll around the park and families can enjoy the leisure facilities and playground in beautiful surroundings with views of the sea.
Stradey Castle – Llanelli – explore this rare example of a ‘set piece’ Victorian house virtually unchanged since the 19th Century. The estate includes a terrace garden and woodland.
St Fagans National History Museum – Cardiff
Big Pit National Coal Museum – Blaenafon, Torfaen NP4 9XP
National Roman Legion Museum – Caerleon, Newport NP18 1AE
National Wool Museum – Nr. Newcastle Emlyn SA44 5UP